Thanks for the warm welcomes, everyone! Really looking forward to starting our adventures with our shiny new camper!
If you establish a set protocol for hitching up and follow it, after a while it will become second nature. Your manual should tell you how. What we did was wrote (with a Sharpie) on the white plastic propane tank cover all the steps needed to hitch (and unhitch, just reverse the steps.) and set up. By the time it had worn off from weather and traveling we had it in our mind. Still in never hurts to review the steps.
I've repeated this story elsewhere on this forum but this will make you laugh. I and my husband had done precisely what I said: took the Casita out to a federal office building on a Sunday so that I could learn to back it up. I chose one "H" set of parking space lines and pulled back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. We didn't even know he was there until we heard a homeless man living in the bushes scream "For God's sakes lady just PICK ONE!!"
Again, welcome to this very fine forum and happy camping!
I like the idea about the checklist, thanks! Think I might laminate a list and take it along with some dry erase markers.
I'll definitely need some practice with the trailer! I bought a pair of those little hitch-up sticks with the balls on the end, but I'm sure it all just takes time and practice. Might purposefully seek out campgrounds with pull-throughs for awhile to avoid backing up, though! LOL And that's hilarious about the guy yelling at you!
My son loves the Casita so much he started to ask last year, "mom, when you pass, do I get the Casita?"
I'd pick up a nice porta potty to keep in the camper for those nights the little ones need to go but you don't want to tread to the facilities in the dark, cold or rain. Before we got our Casita we use to travel and camp in our 3 horse slant load trailer with a small living quarters in the front. The porta potty was a blessing many times.
That's funny! We don't even have the camper yet, and already my 7 year old has asked, "Can I get the camper when you and Dad get too old to camp?" The kids have had camper envy for years now whenever we're out tent camping. I think they can hardly believe the whole buying a trailer thing is real.
Tell me about the porta potty, please. I've casually looked into them. However, I keep one of those little plastic toddler potties in my van for "emergency" use for the kids, and I just don't see a huge advantage of the porta potty over the little toddler one I already have. Granted, it's a little yucky to have what is essentially a glorified chamber pot sitting around until I get a chance to empty it in the morning or whatever, but is the porta potty worth the price when I could just use the toddler potty until the kids outgrow it? (I'm assuming any potty will be for the kids' use, as there's no privacy in the Casita, and despite 15 years together, my husband and I don't do our "business" in front of one another! Some things are best unseen!)
You'll certainly feel cramped at times so having the ability to be outside under the trailer's awning, and/or having some sort of shelter that you can set up outside will definitely help.
As far as general tips-You'll need a class 3 hitch and a brake controller, assuming the requirements are the same as for a 17'.
I agree that a somewhat weather-protected space outside would be great. I've looked at the Clam shelters and also have considered just bringing along our Kodiak Canvas tent to use as a shelter. Do you have a favorite shelter or screen room you'd recommend?
We have a 2" hitch receiver and a 4-pin light controller on the van already, but we do need to get the brake controller set up. Do you know if the wiring for the brake controller is pretty standard, or does Casita require anything that the local U-Haul shop would be unaccustomed to installing? I created a separate post to ask about this but figure it can't hurt to ask again. I received the wiring diagram from Casita today but can't really make heads or tails of it. I've done some light electrical work on the house but never anything involving the cars.